Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) -Malawi & Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) – Malawi collaborated with AGA-Africa to host a 2 day inter-agency workshop on ‘Anti Wildlife Trafficking’ at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi from the 29th – 30th May 2018. The theme for the workshop was ‘The sharing of knowledge and best practices on tactics for the arrest and prosecution of wildlife traffickers.’ The workshop brought together representatives from Malawi’s Inter-agency Wildlife Crime Investigation Unit which includes the Police, Customs, Immigration, Wildlife, Forestry, Anti-Corruption Bureau, as well as the Judiciary. Following the opening address by Mr. Reyneck Matemba -Director General, ACB & Mr. Markus Green ESQ. –AGA-Africa, the workshop kicked off with a keynote address by Dr. Janet Banda – Solicitor General and Director of Justice. Dr. Banda stated that porous borders, weak legal framework and being surrounded by countries with high cases of wild trafficking as major challenges Malawi is facing in her efforts to eliminate illegal wildlife trafficking.
Addressing the workshop, Mr. Andrew Herrup – Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy Lilongwe stated that wildlife crime has become multi-faceted and transnational, prosecutors can no longer afford to go after small-time traffickers. There is need to take the steps required to tackle the sophisticated transnational criminal network spanning continents. And that the Anti-Wildlife Trafficking Workshop is a step in the right direction. Mr. Herrup expressed the United States Government’s support for Malawi’s sustained efforts to protect its wildlife resources.
Thereafter, Mr. Chiza Manda – DNPW spoke on illegal wildlife trade in Malawi and the Wildlife Amendment Act. Mr. Ipyana Musopole –ACB presented on the interface between corruption and Illegal wildlife trade. AGA speakers Demi Herman -Felony Prosecutor Saunders County Attorney’s Office, Shawn Karns – Criminal Investigator, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency , Detective Chris Clementson – Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) & Malunga Pangani – Wildlife Criminal Justice Program Manager, Wildlife Crime Prevention gave indepth presentations on investigation and prosecution of wildlife traffickers.
The workshop ended on a high note as the participants and speakers got to interact during a class discussion and share various tools and techniques to combat wildlife trafficking. In his closing remarks Mr. Brighton Kumchedwa – Director, DNPW said the workshop would help to enhance skills among wildlife and police officers responsible for investigations, law enforcement and prosecution of wildlife traffickers.